Monday, April 21, 2014

Onwards and upwards

All the way round the Newlands Valley walk we looked up to the distinctive summit of Causey Pike.   This is the kind of thing that elicits all Wainwright's superlatives - the climb, the summit, the views...

On the Tuesday, our last day, we knew the weather would be the best we had had, and so it proved - one of those rare Lakeland days when the sky seems so far above Skiddaw and Blencathra that it is impossible to imagine how they could be hidden in cloud.   Very little wind, so unlikely to be a repeat of the Barrow experience.  And we both felt that we could climb Causey Pike and its neighbour Scar Crags without feeling the need to continue on to Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head, which we had climbed previously.

We set off from Braithwaite, skirting the side of the mountain and crossing this beck.  Parties of teenagers were just starting beck scrambling down in the ravine.  We slogged on upwards.  I would like to say that all those gym visits made this a hop, skip and a jump, but I'd be lying.  Climbing up steep paths surfaced in loose material, or eroded scree, is still a huge challenge, but we probably stopped less frequently to admire the emerging view.

Before the final push to the summit, we paused to eat Kit-Kats and draw breath.  Just then, a lean figure in running gear emerged from the much steeper path which we had avoided, and trotted on upwards, her long grey hair revealing that she was in our age-group if not older.  I doubt if we will ever take up fell-running, but I would have said that about the gym ten years ago.

Causey Pike has a very prominent "Bobble" on the top, which has to be climbed.  It's twenty metres of exposed rock where you are on your hands and knees, but it isn't actually a cliff and hundreds of people go up and down it each day in summer.  We pressed straight on, only pausing for photos at the top, both grinning like loons at having managed it. 

From there we traversed the arete - or narrow exposed ridge - not that narrow to be honest - , avoiding the truly vertiginous views.

 Once over Scar Crags we turned right, taking this rather scary path, which crosses scree on its way down.

Over the other side of the valley are the workings of the last lead mine.  Once this was an industrial area - heavy industry at that.

Through Barrow Door - is it just me or does that not sound like Tolkien? -  and back down to Braithwaite, where the sheltered gardens are quite lovely.


1 comment:

elginknitter said...

Your photos are so lovely - and I think you must be in excellent shape to accomplish those climbs! I'm so envious at how green everything looks, compared to us here in Ontario (still the odd bit of snow lingering under the as-yet bare trees). Thanks for sharing the stories of your travels!